Thought For The Day #2619 May 2014
Broadcast 19th of May 2014 on BBC Radio Bristol
Audio available at http://www.mytalky.com/ctm
So it’s the Pint Of Science festival this week. Pubs across the world, including Bath and Bristol, are being host to bona fide scientists sharing their knowledge in down-to-earth laymans terms. It’s an opportunity for us humble folk to catch a glimpse into some exotic worlds of thought. Like how the universe formed or what causes consciousness.
I’ve always loved science and its ability to reveal nature’s hidden secrets. In fact I might even say there were times I used to worship it. I loved its promises of answers and certainty. But over the years I’ve come to realise that those promises haven’t translated into how I actually experience my life. Time and time again I get myself into uncomfortable situations of uncertainty that I just can’t control. Am I going to lose my job or aren’t I? Does she love me or doesn’t she? I’ve had to face the fact that sometimes there just aren’t any answers. My fears and fantasies would like to claim otherwise, but instead I have to admit with all my heart that I really don’t know.
I don’t like admitting that I don’t know. It makes me feel vulnerable. But if I can get over my knee-jerk resistance to it I also find it allows me to see the world with fresh eyes. It gives me the opportunity to actually hear what people are saying, rather than what I assume they’re saying.
So I’m not dismissing science, I’m just questioning whether it’s always the best tool for the job. In fact I think Pint Of Science is all about trying to give us fresh eyes. You never know half way through my second pint of cider I might suddenly understand Quantum Mechanics!